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Smartphones News & Analysis

Too Much Information: Managing Distractions in the Workplace

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Sure it's OK to check Facebook or send a personal text while at work. That is, if you can find the time between keeping up on Yammer, collaborating over Skype and shoveling through the 125 emails the average office worker receives daily.

And, of course, that's in addition to completing your assigned tasks.

The problem here is information overload. Workers are so distracted — and frustrated — by frequent interruptions that it's costing US companies an estimated $588 billion a year in lost productivity. Often, this leaves employees feeling stressed out, sometimes long after leaving the office.

Between social networks, personal and professional email, phone calls and collaboration tools, the average worker is distracted every 11 minutes, according to a study by the University of California at Irvine.

4 Ways Marketers Can Move Mobile Advertising Forward

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On the heels of recent research centered around how companies are falling short with mobile marketing, comes a new report — this time with similarly disappointing findings around mobile advertising, in particular.

The AdExchanger Research report, titled Mobile’s Unmet Potential (available for purchase), finds that although marketers, technology providers and agencies surprisingly share the same vision for the future of mobile advertising, no such agreement exists regarding how to achieve that vision.

Companies Plagued by Mobile Marketing Mediocrity, Altimeter Finds

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Hold the (cell) phone.

Despite all the talk about the importance of mobile, the ubiquity of mobile devices and the merits of optimizing mobile experiences, most companies and brands are still failing to capitalize on mobile technologies — and losing the potential to benefit from what is arguably one of the greatest opportunities for customer experience innovation.

That's the surprising conclusion of research being released today by San Mateo, Calif.-based Altimeter Group, a research firm dedicated to helping companies understand and act on technology disruption.

In a report entitled "The Inevitability of a Mobile-Only Customer Experience" (registration required), co-authors Brian Solis and Jaimy Szymanski warn that many companies and brands are still underestimating and underinvesting in mobile.

What's more, they conclude, clearly defined and unified mobile strategies remain largely elusive to most executives and strategists, who tend to view mobile as the latest “bright, shiny object" rather than both a means and an end to incredibly improved customer experiences.

It’s a recipe for disaster, they argue — and an imperative for companies and brands to address right now if they want to remain relevant, competitive and continue to survive.

PC Market? Up Slightly, But Still Barely Breathing

Though it appears there will be some relief for the besieged PC market in Gartner’s second quarter predictions for 2014, the relief will be be only temporary.

Overall, the global devices market  will witness a revival in 2014, increasing by 4.2 percent over 2013.

The PC market, which falls under the devices umbrella, will contract 2. 9 percent — considerably less than last year's 9.2 percent .The driving force behind this trend, according to Annette Zimmerman of Gartner, is the ongoing development of the mobile market. However, the longterm direction of the PC market remains downward.

Blame Technology for Your Failed Relationships

business meeting distraction.jpg.jpgBack in 1975, singer-songwriter Paul Simon told us there must be 50 ways to leave your lover. But that was before we all had perpetual connectivity to every person, place and thing we ever knew or imagined through smartphones, tablets and other assorted Internet-connected devices.

Now there are plenty of new ways to leave your lover, as well as your friends, relatives, co-workers, customers and business associates. Just take a phone call in the middle of a meeting, text a friend during an intimate dinner or update your social media profile in the middle of a customer service interaction.

These random Electronic Displays of Insensitivity (EDIs) take a big toll on relationships, said David Maxfield, co-author of new research on Digital Divisiveness. "Maybe it's time to change our behavior," he said.

Internet of Things Growing Faster than Smartphones, Tablets, PCs Combined

While the exact form of the Internet of Things (IoT) is still nebulous, its size is not. According to new research from Gartner, it will include 26 billion units — excluding PCs, tablets and smartphones — by 2020. It will also have a global economic value of $1.9 trillion. 

Mobile Connections in 2014: Flexible Smartphones, Other Technologies

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Mobile commerce has gone from a theoretical possibility to a practical imperative. Marketers don't have to look any further than the statistics from Black Friday to understand that.

But how you reach your customer on their smartphones is an ever changing game. Asian device makers are throwing curve balls with a flexible smartphone from LG headed west in 2014. That's just one of the new technologies — and questions — to consider.

Will Amazon's Fire smartphone finally burn bright? What crowd-funded gadgets could influence the market? And who will challenge Samsung as the dominant manufacturer?

Game Consoles, 3D Printers Top Holiday Shopping Lists

holidaypresents.jpgWith Thanksgiving Day, Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales looming, new super-powerful game consoles — the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One — appear to be the hot tickets this year.

But from affordable 3D printers to tiny and low-cost smart-TV adaptors, there's something for every budget in this most bountiful of selling seasons. 

Nokia Back in Smartphone Game with 8.8 Million Units Sold in Q3

Customer Experience, Mobile, Nokia Back in Smartphone Game with $8.8M Quarterly SalesNokia's play to stay in the smartphone game is paying off as buyers flock to its wide range of Windows Phone 8 devices packing great camera technology. 

With its upcoming acquisition by Microsoft, the $7.2  billion deal looks to be a good value with sales increasing by a million per quarter and some hot new models on the way. 

Google Nexus 5 Looking All White, Phone Just Days from Release

nexus5_300.jpgWe've already seen the the Nexus 5 phone in black, thanks to leaks last week from Google. Now images are floating around of the phone stylish white, with the chatter coalescing around a Nov. 1 release date. More scurrilous chatter also suggests a full-size tablet, a Nexus 10 model, is also on the way.

Meanwhile, LG has shown off another curved smartphone for Korean users, suggesting that curved will be an option in most price ranges next year.

Free Wi-Fi Could Boost Retail Sales, Survey Shows

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There's no doubt mobile in the marketplace influences the way consumers shop. Whether they are using their smartphone to compare prices or pulling out tablets to access coupons and retail discounts, consumers are increasingly incorporating mobile devices into their shopping experiences.

However, using mobile devices in stores can present challenges, especially when the Wi-Fi signal is weak or nonexistent. So what effects does the availability of Wi-Fi have on the customer experience?

Android TV to Replace Google TV in Battle For the Smart Set

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While smartphones and tablets have exploded, the smart TV concept has struggled. Sure, people are buying sets, but those extra features and apps have been overlooked thanks to niche stores, complex menus and other customer experience issues. With an upcoming war against Apple and Microsoft, Google is changing its own game. 

iOS 7.0.2 Goes Live to Close the Passcode Bypass

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A modest iOS update follows in the wake of all last week's hoopla, fixing some of the more glaring security issues with Apple's new smartphone operating system. 

Thumbs Up for the New iPhone 5S, What Else Will Apple Unveil?

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All the latest chatter points to fingerprint or some biometric recognition being the big feature, alongside iOS 7, in an otherwise bland update to the iPhone range. Is that, and the budget iPhone 5C model enough to get anyone excited?

IDC: Smartphones Ship A Billion Units, Microsoft to See Maker Interest Decline

IDC: Smartphones Ship A Billion Units,  Microsoft to See Maker Interest Decline

Mobile phones of all kinds are rebounding, with strong growth in 2013 and with smartphone shipments exceeding one billion units for the first time in a single year. Windows Phone is solidifying its third-place position among mobile operating systems, even as non-Microsoft handset makers will likely become less interested. Those are key takeaways in the new mobile phone market forecast from industry research firm IDC. 

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